Saturday, December 27, 2014

Catching up

My brother says I haven't been doing enough blogging lately. Hi ET!!!! So, here's my attempt at catching up a bit.

Grant started fourth grade and Drew started Kindergarten this year. Drew couldn't wait to go. Grant was not looking forward to getting up early and getting back into a routine. Actually, the first morning back, he was nearly in tears after trying to wake him. Yet, he came home that day saying fourth grade was pretty cool.

Drew did absolutely amazing with no tears. He had mostly been looking forward to riding the bus home with his big brother.

He says his favorite thing about Kindergarten is going outside for recess and eating lunch. His favorite special is P.E. and library. He's actually doing great being one of the leaders in his class. We are amazed at his reading level as well as his social skills. Recently when we attended a family night at school, every other kid we passed waved and said "hi Drew!"

Grants says his favorite thing about 4th grade is when the bell rings and the day is over. Despite this attitude, he's in the most advanced focus group. His favorite special is P.E. and library. He made Principal's list. Correction: he dominated Principal's list. He has become quite independent with his homework this year and typically completes it's all on the bus or at school. In his usual amazing big brother fashion, he always makes sure he sits with Drew on the bus.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Birthday Boys

Birthday parties seem to get more and more simple every year. And, I'll admit it. My blog posts do too, but I'm determined to keep it going for the sake of memories. 

For Grant's 9th, we celebrated at the movie theater. He invited his best friends. We saw Walk with Dinosaurs. We ate cake. 
I love him.

I love how Drew thinks he's one of the big kids. 

For Drew's 5th, we partied at the bowling alley. He was beyond thrilled to have all of his buddies from school there as well as Grandparents and cousins. Then he had a baseball game on his birthday

Sweetness x infinity

They are growing up so fast it hurts. But what are you going to do? 

Enjoy every moment. 
Be thankful everyday. 
Tell them they make you happy. 

Because they do. 

Monday, February 3, 2014


11-25-13. Thankful that we have nearly made it through the coldest winter I can remember. 

Thanksgiving - Thankful for my wonderful in-laws. They are not really in-laws at all. They are family. 

Mom's birthday - Thankful for the most amazing parents. These two will do anything for you without thinking twice. 

Opryland Hotel - Thankful for these two healthy boys

Thankful for 4 generations.

Thankful that they still enjoy helping me make Christmas cookies. Yes, there is a soccer goal in the living room.

 Christmas Eve - Thankful for two sweet grandmothers. 

Thankful for four generations on my side too and so much extended family nearby.

Christmas Eve - Thankful they're mine.

Halloween 2013

This was the first year I talked the boys into coordinating their Halloween costumes. The second I suggested Mad Scientist, Grant was all about it. Drew had his heart set on being a ninja, but when I came home with the best Frankenstein costume ever, he decided he might be a ninja next year.

Grant, 8. Drew, 4

Day after  - sorting his loot 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Disney Part 2

Day 4 - Hollywood Studios. We were definitely wanting a day off by this day. I didn't have a "rest time" scheduled for this day, but we knew Hollywood Studios would be more relaxed than the Epcot and Magic Kingdom.

Again, we arrived at the park before it opened. We were at Toy Story Mania by 8:50am (10 minutes before the park officially opened!). Grabbed fast passes and were able to ride it again.

The boys loved Star Tours. I'll never forget the lady next to me couldn't get over how little Drew was and how much fun he was having on it. He had his hands in the air and was grinning the entire time. Grant loved it too, but was more concerned about the plot and how the story is different each time you ride!

Front row seats for Indiana Jones (code name 'Nancy').

 Erick was selected to be an extra. It was so much fun!

Lights, Motor, Action was another favorite especially when we saw McQueen. 

My hair after riding Rockin' Roller Coaster says it all!
Fantasmic was probably our favorite nighttime show even if we got a little wet.
Day 5 - Animal Kingdom. We were seriously considering postponing this day. We knew going in that 4 days straight at Disney theme parks would be exhausting. That's why we had planned all along to "recover" at the beach. But after checking the crowd predictor, which indicated much worse crowds for the following day, we decided to go for it. After all, it would be a shorter day and once again excitement would pull us through! 

Animal Kingdom ended up being our least favorite park. Maybe it was a little bit because of our exhaustion or the crazy crowds or maybe it was because we had recently been to the St. Louis Zoo. We had a blast no less. 
On Safari

 The boys hadn't planned on riding Dinosaur, but after Peyton said he would ride if they did, they both decided to be brave and give it a go. I don't think Drew let go of Peyton's hand until we boarded the ride. 

The gorillas were way cool. This one looked like it was starring right at us, but actually he was looking at his girlfriend behind us. You could see the whites of his eyes. 

Our last show. Finding Nemo

Having a blast with the whole family on Kali River Rapids!

You know the two people who go down first on the last drop get crushed with a giant wave? Well, that was Grant and Drew! They couldn't have been more excited.

Finally our rest and relaxation came on our last 3 days. We headed to Clearwater Beach. The water was beautiful except for a few stingrays. Danny stepped on one and was stung! We managed to avoid the hospital, but let's just say we are so grateful one of the boys didn't step on it. 

It was a perfect ending to a perfect trip. The boys are still talking about and can't wait to go back. When we got home, Grant made us each rank our top 3 rides. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad came in 1st. Recently, Drew made a wish with a coin in a wishing well. He told us he wished he could go to Disney World every day.

I wish I could go here everyday...


Disney Part 1

I've never spent so much time planning for a vacation until Disney. After deciding that this would be the year we would go, I quickly discovered there's a lot more to it than just booking a room and buying some tickets. Danny is typically the vacation detail planner around here, but I took over on this one. He was thrilled. All he had to do was be in charge of navigation... and pay for everything.

Day one - We took a quick dip in the lazy river before heading out to meet Aunt Shirley, Uncle Jimmy and the Travis' for a family reunion dinner. It was so great to see cousins I hadn't seen in a long time. And, we were lucky that when a motorhome ran into the restaurant right outside our window, it didn't come through the building!

Day 2 - We were up early and arrived at Epcot by 8:15am. Erick, Angie, Autumn and Peyton saved us a place at the front of the line. The gates opened just before 9am. We (I) already mapped out the day to the minute. First up was Test Track. 

Drew's expression is priceless!

Rain showers limited our time in the World Showcase. Drew shed a few tears because he thought they wouldn't get to do Agent P's Adventure. Well, we managed to work it in and then Danny and I nearly shed a few tears because we didn't have time to enjoy the massive amount of food and beverages.

We rode Maelstrom and rushed through the World Showcase to make it to our 7:30 dinner reservation in Japan where we had a great hibachi dinner. After dinner, we saw Illuminations and then headed back to our condo after a long but wonderful day.

Day 3, Magic Kingdom - It was another early morning. I think we made it to the parking lot by 8am and then caught the ferry boat over to the park.

We were able to see the opening show for the park, and when we walked through the gate and saw the castle, it's safe to say I was overwhelmed with excitement and a little bit emotional. --And then, I quickly pulled myself together as we refocused on our agenda.

First we grabbed fast passes for Space Mountain and went straight to the standby line with no wait. I never dreamed that Grant would ride it, but he got on with no hesitation! And rode it again! Drew would've too if he had been tall enough.

Out of all of the parks, Grant's favorite ride was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I absolutely love this picture. I snapped it during the ride... Grant is cautiously looking to see what's coming up next and Drew is cheesing at the camera.

Sadly, we were only able to ride it one time as is was shut down for part of the afternoon. After getting soaked on Splash Mountain a couple of times, we left for a break at the hotel. Then came back until the park closed. 

It's safe to say, my touring plan was a bit ambitious for Magic Kingdom. We never even made it to Adventureland, but we got to do everything that was at the top of our list (and we REALLY needed those 2 hours of rest at the condo).  The afternoon was more relaxed as we enjoyed Mickey's Phillarmagic, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (again), Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor (Danny was "that guy"!), and Wishes. 

They boys are still talking about this being their best day ever. 

Day 3 and 4 coming up next!